18 Oct 2020

Government will be formed 'within the next two to three weeks' - Jacinda Ardern

2:25 pm on 18 October 2020

Labour leader Jacinda Ardern says the next government will be formed within the next few weeks, following the party's resounding victory in the 2020 General Election.

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Last night's results have given the Labour Party the numbers to govern alone. With 64 seats, Labour will be the first party able to govern alone since MMP was introduced in 1996.

Speaking to media in Auckland this afternoon, Ardern said work on forming the next government has begun today, and she had met with senior members of her team to work through a timetable to form government.

She said there was a clear mandate to form a government before the results were finalised and she had spoken to the governor general to confirm she is able to form a government.

"We anticipated ... perhaps having that number of list MPs, what's interesting is we've had a number of seats turn."

Ardern said she thought last night's vote was a vote of confidence in Labour's Covid plan and recovery.

Ardern said there was nothing further to report on contact with the Greens and the Labour Caucus will meet tomorrow.

"I have said that I want to talk with the Greens and we will do that next week."

She has not been in contact with the Maori Party.

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern speaks at the Labour Election Day party after the Labour Party won New Zealand's general election in Auckland on October 16, 2020.

Photo: AFP

But she said Labour did have the mandate to form a government alone.

"It's fair to say there is a range, over various MMP governments, of agreements ... I don't want to draw any conclusion at this point.

When it came to assigning ministerial roles, she said she would making sure the party was drawing on "experience and new talent".

Ardern would not be drawn when asked if there could be any non-Labour ministers.

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Photo: RNZ / Youtube

The Labour leader said there were also Covid priorities she wanted to achieve before the end of 2020.

She said previously "very different opinions in government" have slowed things down, but Labour now had a clear mandate to get things done.

Asked if she will run in 2023, she said: "I've only just run in 2020."

"My hope is we have elections that move beyond the divisiveness of politics."

See the full party vote and electorate results here

Follow all the latest Election 2020 developments with RNZ's live blog here

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